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House Committee on Natural ResourcesEnergy and Mineral ResourcesIntroducedJuly 8th, 2013
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Caring for Coal Miners Act
To amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to protect the health care benefits of our Nation's miners.
Caring for Coal Miners Act - Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to revise the formula for determining transfers from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan. Requires the formula to be calculated by taking into account only: (1) those beneficiaries actually enrolled in the Plan as of the enactment of this Act (currently, enrolled as of December 31, 2006), who are eligible to receive health benefits on the first day of the calendar year for which the transfer is made; and in addition to these beneficiaries (2) those who would be denied health benefits payable directly by an employer in the bituminous coal industry under a coal wage agreement as a result of a bankruptcy proceeding commenced in 2012. Considers the latter beneficiaries to be eligible to receive such health benefits under the Plan. Requires reduction of the amount made available to a beneficiary as a result of this Act, however, by the amount of any benefits actually paid by a Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to or on behalf of a covered beneficiary, so that no covered beneficiary receives a greater benefit than would have been payable before the VEBA was established. Defines "Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association" as one established pursuant to the order entered May 29, 2013, by the Court in the case In re: Patriot Coal Corporation (Case No. 12-51502, Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri).